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2 hours ago, Gonzo79 said:

Did he publicly declare it prior to the court case?  


The Australian government have been totally over the top with their Covid restrictions.  One would hope Australians will respond accordingly at the next election.

I'm sure that they will as they are sick of the current restrictions, but they're also feeling that Djokovic is flaunting his non-vaccinated status with his tweet when they've been sticking to the the guidelines, in the same way as many here are feeling about Boris and his garden parties, and he'll likely get a lot of abuse as Compo said.

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49 minutes ago, Bluedell said:

he'll likely get a lot of abuse as Compo said.

Perhaps but there is a significant Serbian diaspora in Oz (many of whom enjoy attending the Open), so he'll have plenty backing him too.


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1 hour ago, Gonzo79 said:

Perhaps but there is a significant Serbian diaspora in Oz (many of whom enjoy attending the Open), so he'll have plenty backing him too.


Thats if they're not all locked up for scrapping with the feds

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2 hours ago, stewarty said:

its not a low status opinion in his opinion.  


besides, he knows that people know he isn't vaxxed.  


he also knows that not being vaxxed is an issue with regards to oz visas.


by making a show of "ive got an exemption", he's signalling that he's playing by the books and has moral authority.


the court has backed him up, so virtue signalling works!

It's not virtue signalling.


The status of the opinion is not set by the individual that holds it.


I understand that you really want to use those words but that's not how they are typically used.

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16 minutes ago, ranger_syntax said:

It's not virtue signalling.


The status of the opinion is not set by the individual that holds it.


I understand that you really want to use those words but that's not how they are typically used.

It is really.  Perhaps you don't want to admit it, but thats okay.  I'll let it slide.


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I can understand people getting annoyed about Boris Johnson flouting Covid restrictions (as well as SNP and Green goons who did it) because these people are imposing restrictions on the general populace.


Novak Djokovic isn't imposing restrictions on anyone.  


I'm looking at it from a different angle - individuals should have the right to decide for themselves if they want to be vaccinated and the restrictions being imposed all over the globe are often based on guesswork and scaremongering.  


It does seem that things have gone on in the background with Djokovic's exemption and I'm sure more will come to light but rather than viewing him as a celeb mocking the commoners, I see him as a bloke sticking two fingers up to authority. 


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Novak Djokovic is exposed by his toughest opponent – the truth

Matthew Syed

Wednesday January 12 2022, 3.30pm, The Times




Is anyone else’s head spinning? At first, Novak Djokovic told us he had arrived in Australia obeying all the rules, even if he didn’t necessarily agree with them. He had followed the protocols laid down by the organisers of the Australian Open and the state regulators in Victoria and was simply there to play a bit of tennis. Judge Anthony Kelly, based on what we knew at the time, sided with the 20-times grand-slam champion, albeit on procedural grounds.

Then, like the early stirrings of a sinkhole, the terra firma on which the world’s top tennis player was standing started to fall away. Like many people who feel they are above the rules that apply to the rest of us, Djokovic had forgotten that a paper trail had been left that would place events in a very different light. In this case, the trail had been unwittingly offered up by Djokovic himself in the form of the social media feeds that all sportspeople maintain to maximise commercial revenues.

It didn’t take long for a photo to emerge of him standing, unmasked, at an awards ceremony in Serbia, one day after he claimed to have tested positive for Covid. Then another photo, unmasked, from an interview and photoshoot in Belgrade. More photos came to light, and more. At a press conference on Monday, his family smirked — in not dissimilar fashion to Boris Johnson when questioned over Downing Street parties — when asked about these incidents. With a flourish, they announced: “The press conference is now adjourned,” and then linked arms to sing a Serbian folk song.


The problem, though, was obvious to anyone watching this affair from afar. You can shut down a press conference, but you cannot so easily shut down the truth. Truth is an unusual opponent, and rather more tenacious than the usual suspects that you might see on the other side of a tennis net. It is resilient, persistent and highly adept at discovering inconsistencies. You could almost hear Djokovic’s team scrambling around to figure out a fresh way to get the toothpaste back in the tube.

Yep: they would say that while Djokovic had tested positive on the 16th, he hadn’t discovered the result until after the awards ceremony. And what of the interview on the 18th? Sure enough, this was an “error of judgment”, but it was committed only because dear Novak didn’t want to let down a journalist. This, at least, is the substance of the comedy script — sorry, statement — issued by Djokovic on Tuesday.


And yet, still the truth keeps hitting troublesome balls from the baseline. Djokovic claimed he had not travelled anywhere else in the 14 days before arriving in Melbourne but he had been in Marbella and Belgrade. Djokovic tried a different ruse: he admitted to the “administrative error” but put it on his agent, failing to remember that customs declaration forms have strict liability. You cannot blame a false declaration on a friend or an agent — or the dog eating the homework.


Then, the German magazine Der Spiegel published an article throwing serious doubt on the central strut of the Djokovic defence. It is a somewhat complicated story but there are profound anomalies with the supposedly positive test on the 16th. When journalists scanned the QR code, they were taken to a negative test result on the official database, which was only later amended. Perhaps there is an innocent explanation but, given what we now know, it would take a generous observer to offer Djokovic the benefit of the doubt.


And this takes us to the deeper story. If you are a public figure, in a world of Twitter and Instagram and iPhone cameras, playing around with the truth may be convenient in the short term but it is perilous in the long term. It is particularly dangerous if others are party to the events because they represent another route whereby the truth can, in time, come out. We have only just found out about the Downing Street booze-up of May 2020. In the case of Watergate, HR Haldeman and John Ehrlichman lied on behalf of Richard Nixon all the way to jail. Initially, it was only John Dean, the White House counsel, who exposed the truth.

In this context, I wonder if anyone in Djokovic’s inner circle is considering breaking cover? Have any of them had enough of covering up for a man who has become the figurehead — albeit unintentionally — of the global antivax movement? I am not, of course, comparing the Novak story to Watergate in global significance; merely in terms of the group dynamics and psychology.


I say all this with a heavy heart. I have met Djokovic often, like him personally, and admire the qualities he brings to the tennis court. Watching him rise to global stature over the past decade and a half has been one of the great privileges of my career in sports journalism. His victory over Roger Federer at Wimbledon in 2019, defying a partisan audience, was a wonder to behold, as was his win over Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals of last year’s French Open. Few sportspeople have given me greater pleasure.

But that doesn’t change one jot of the sordid saga that has unfolded over recent days. By the time you read this, the story will doubtless have moved on again. But at the end of it all we are left with a brilliant sportsman whose eccentric views on science have led him into a labyrinth from which, despite his best efforts, he is struggling to escape. He is being slowly worn down, shot after shot, by an opponent who doesn’t give up.

Perhaps Elvis Presley said it best: “Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain’t goin’ away.”


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Djokovic makes Australian Open draw as he awaits deportation decision

Bernard Lagan, Sydney | Stuart Fraser, Tennis Correspondent, Melbourne

Thursday January 13 2022, 7.35am, The Times




Australia’s immigration minister has again delayed a decision on whether to re-cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa, allowing him to be named to play in next week’s Australian Open tournament.

The world tennis men’s No 1 has been confirmed in the official draw for the tournament, despite the uncertainty surrounding him.

Alex Hawke is now not expected to make a decision on his right to remain until tomorrow at the earliest, eight days after his visa was cancelled for breaking Covid-19 vaccination rules.

Lawyers for Djokovic, the defending men’s champion, are engaged in an eleventh-hour appeal to allow him to stay


The defending Australian Open champion won a legal case in the federal circuit court to remain in the country on Monday on procedural grounds but Hawke has been considering cancelling his visa for a second time.

Djokovic, 34, who is not vaccinated, made a false travel declaration before his arrival last week. He also admitted an “error of judgment” and confirmed that he broke Covid-19 isolation rules last month by attending a photoshoot after testing positive.


A decision on his visa was widely expected when Australia’s prime minister, Scott Morrison, called a press conference just before 4pm today, but instead he spoke about the nation’s Omicron wave of the coronavirus and said that the immigration minister was still mulling Djokovic’s future.

Speaking before the announcement of any decision by Hawke, Morrison refused to comment directly on Djokovic’s visa but said that he expected immigration officials “to implement the policy of the government”.

Morrison added: “I will refer to Mr Hawke’s most recent statement and that position hasn’t changed. These are personal ministerial powers able to be exercised by Minister Hawke and I don’t propose to make any further comment at this time.”

The Australian Financial Review newspaper reported that Djokovic’s lawyers were engaged in “an eleventh-hour appeal” to the minister.

Hawke is investigating whether his medical exemption from a Covid-19 vaccine meets Australian border rules. Morrison was pressed by a reporter today on whether it was safe to permit entry for an unvaccinated citizen from overseas.

“Where fully vaccinated eligible visa holders could travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption and enter those states, allowing them to enter quarantine-free, the individual has to show they are double vaccinated or must provide acceptable proof that they can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons,” Morrison said.

“That is the policy and we would expect authorities to be implementing the policy of the government when it comes to those matters.”


The draw for the tournament was delayed by more than an hour, apparently in expectation of an announcement at Morrison’s press conference. When it went ahead Djokovic drew fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round and the rising American star Tommy Paul in the second.

He is in the same half as Rafael Nadal, meaning a potential meeting with his great rival in the semi-finals. Both are level with Roger Federer on 20 grand-slam men’s singles titles.

Djokovic, the winner of 20 grand slam titles, said that he attended a basketball game on December 14 where a number of people contracted Covid-19. He took a rapid antigen test on December 16, which he said was negative. Then out of caution he took a PCR on the same day. The following day he attended a tennis event in Belgrade to present children with awards. “I was asymptomatic and felt good,” he said.

He attended an interview and removed his mask during a photoshoot with the French newspaper L’Equipe in Belgrade, despite knowing that he was infected. A day earlier he was at a tennis event and presented awards to children after taking a PCR test but before getting the result, he says.

In an Instagram post the player said that he sought to clarify “misinformation” and claimed that it wasn’t until after the event with the children that he learnt that he was Covid positive.

However, he did admit to conducting the in-person interview while knowing he was positive.


“I felt obliged to go ahead and conduct the interview as I didn’t want to let the journalist down but did ensure I socially distanced and wore a mask except when my photograph was being taken,” he said in Melbourne. “On reflection, this was an error of judgment and I accept that I should have rescheduled this commitment.”

Djokovic wore a mask during his interview on December 18 in Belgrade but took it off for the photoshoot. He took part in the interview and photoshoot despite knowing that he had the virus


He also denied that he personally lied on his entry form. He said that his support team answered “no” to a question about travelling outside Serbia in the fortnight before his arrival when they should have put “yes”. The Australian government is looking into reports that he was photographed training in Marbella on December 31.

José Manuel Albares, the Spanish foreign minister, said that he had no record of the player visiting Spain and he had not been contacted by Australia.


Djokovic was forced into detention hours after arriving in Australia when border forces claimed that he had failed to produce proof that he had a lawful exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19. On Monday a judge in Melbourne ordered his release after finding that the border officers had denied him access to a lawyer.


He claimed a medical exemption from being vaccinated because he contracted Covid-19 in December but the Australian government has argued that this does not constitute a valid reason for an exemption.


Moreover, his positive test has been brought into doubt, with digital data analysed by the German news website Der Spiegel suggesting that his results were from December 26, not December 16. His documentation for entry claimed the test was from December 16.


Der Spiegel added: “The test results also include QR codes, and when Der Spiegel scanned the QR code for the test from December 16, things got strange. On Monday, the result from the scan was ‘test result negative’.

Such a result would have destroyed Djokovic’s case for being allowed into the country. About an hour later, though, a second scan of the QR code returned a different result: ‘test result positive’.


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